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Revelation 21:8

8 But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed) [all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death. [Isaiah 30:33.] AMP

The apostle Paul speaks of death as an enemy: "The last enemy that will be destroyed is death" (1 Corinthians 15:26). In His resurrection, Jesus conquered death-physical, spiritual, and eternal. Through fear of death, men are subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:15); but "our Savior Jesus Christ...has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10).

(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

1 Corinthians 15:26

26 The last enemy to be subdued and abolished is death. AMP

Hebrews 2:15

15 And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives. AMP

2 Timothy 1:10

10[It is that purpose and grace] which He now has made known and has fully disclosed and made real [to us] through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who annulled death and made it of no effect and brought life and immortality (immunity from eternal death) to light through the Gospel. AMP





Strictly speaking, death is the separation of the material from the immaterial (James 2:26). In the case of every death, the body is disposed of, usually by placing it in a grave. But the immaterial facet of a person continues to exist for all eternity. The question before us now is, What is the state of the immaterial part between physical death and bodily resurrection?

A. For the Unredeemed Person in Old Testament Times

When such a person died, his soul, spirit, or immaterial nature went to sheol to wait for the resurrection of the body at the end of the Millennium. But the body is also said to be in sheol, for about half the times the word for sheol is used in the Old Testament it refers to the grave (see Numbers 16:30,33). Other times it refers to the place of departed spirits, of both the righteous (Genesis 37:35) and the wicked (Proverbs 9:18). This is the place of darkness where the unredeemed dead are confined until death (which claims the body) and hades (the Greek equivalent of sheol, which claims the soul) give up their dead at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:13).

Numbers 16:30-33

30 But if the Lord causes a new thing [to happen], and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them up, with all that belongs to them, and they go down alive into Sheol (the place of the dead), then you shall understand that these men have provoked (spurned, despised) the Lord!

31 As soon as he stopped speaking, the ground under the offenders split apart

32 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households and [Korah and] all [his] men and all their possessions. [Numbers 26:10,11.]

33 They and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol (the place of the dead); and the earth closed upon them, and they perished from among the assembly. AMP

Genesis 37:35

35 And all his sons and daughters attempted to console him, but he refused to be comforted and said, I will go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) to my son mourning. And his father wept for him. AMP

Proverbs 9:18

18 But he knows not that the shades of the dead are there [specters haunting the scene of past transgressions], and that her invited guests are [already sunk] in the depths of Sheol (the lower world, Hades, the place of the dead). AMP

Revelation 20:13

13 And the sea delivered up the dead who were in it, death and Hades ( the state of death or disembodied existence) surrendered the dead in them, and all were tried and their cases determined by what they had done [according to their motives, aims, and works]. AMP


B. For the Unredeemed Person in New Testament Times

The body goes to the grave, and the spirit goes to hades to wait for the resurrection of the body at the close of the Millennium (as with Old Testament unredeemed people) (Luke 16:23). Hades stands in contrast to heaven (Matthew 11:23; Luke 10:15) as a fiery place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:40-42), a place of eternal torment (Mark 9:43-48), and a place of outer darkness where there is no light at all (Matthew 22:13).

Luke 16:23

23 And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom. AMP

Matthew 11:23

23 And you, Capernaum, are you to be lifted up to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades [the region of the dead]! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have continued until today. AMP

Luke 10:15

15 And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted unto heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades (the regions of the dead). AMP

Matthew 13:40-42

40 Just as the darnel (weeds resembling wheat) is gathered and burned with fire, so it will be at the close of the age.

41 The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all causes of offense [persons by whom others are drawn into error or sin] and all who do iniquity and act wickedly,

42 And will cast them into the furnace of fire; there will be weeping and wailing and grinding of teeth. AMP

Mark 9:43-48

43 And if your hand puts a stumbling block before you and causes you to sin, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to go into life [that is really worthwhile] maimed than with two hands to go to hell (Gehenna), into the fire that cannot be put out.

45 And if your foot is a cause of stumbling and sin to you, cut it off! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter into life [that is really worthwhile] crippled than, having two feet, to be cast into hell (Gehenna).

47 And if your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out! It is more profitable and wholesome for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell (Gehenna),